Huzzah! I’ve hired a new minion at the office which means the deluge of work I’ve been dealing with will eventually diminish back down to, say, what bursts out of a fire hydrant. So what is it about this happy event that sparks a headline like the one above? It’s a simple explanation, really, and one that may also “explain” why our family is the way it is.
With the new person about to come on board I’ve had to refamiliarize myself with some of the benefit options that are available from my company. This, in turn, reminded me of when I started a job with another company several years ago. At the dinner table I was discussing what benefits I had signed up for with my wife and mentioned that part of the life insurance package included a $10,000 benefit on the kids.
The Mall Diva, who was about five at the time, piped up, saying something like, “What’s that all about?”
“Well,” I said, matter-of-factly, “it just means that if you die, Mom and I get some money.”
“No fair. I should get the money.”
“No, you’ll be dead and Mom and I will get the money in case we want to buy a puppy or something because we’re lonely.”
The little Diva thought about this for a couple of moments.
“Well, what if you die?”
“Then you and Mom get a lot of money.”
“So, how will we know?”
“How will you know what?”
“If you’re dead.”
“Oh, well you’ll just come in some time and I’ll be laying on the floor with my hands and feet curled up in the air like a dead cockroach.”
As it turned out, mother and daughter went out that evening to run some errands while I flopped on the couch in the living room to read. Later, when I heard them coming back in through the kitchen, I quickly rolled off the couch and assumed the position described above before MD could skip into the room.
“Da-DEEE!” said the Diva in her “not funny!” tone.
My wife, still in the kitchen, simply said, “I’m not even going to look.”
Several months later I became sick enough at work to have to come home. Coincidentally, the little Diva also got sick and had to come home and join me. We were lolling around on my bed in medicated apathy when we heard my wife coming in through the back door.
“Daddy – let’s do cockroaches!”
We quickly drew ourselves up into position, side by side, waiting for my wife to come down the hall to check on us (this is a very difficult position to hold when you’ve been throwing up, by the way, even more so when a little girl is shaking next to you trying to control her snickering).
My wife finally came to the bedroom door and locked in on us: “OH NO!” she gasped. “My family is dead!”
I can’t remember if she said anything about getting a puppy.